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Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. You don’t have time to create it, so copy and paste it! Here’s the entire volunteer application packet we give to all our prospective youth volunteers. This is accompanied by a background check form as well. Let me know how you use it!

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION PACKET
All forms are in pdf, Word doc, and Apple pages format.

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Relationships. It’s a topic every youth pastor has to do a series on at least once a year.  So the question arises, “How do I keep it fresh? (since we’re really saying the same thing every time). Here’s one way…ask.  A couple weeks ago I posted about Poll Everywhere, a text voting service that we use. Here is one way we are using it.

Next week I’m starting a relationship series and for the first 5 min. of the sermon will give an introduction on “relationships”. During this time, students will VOTE for which question about relationships they want to hear about (see pic, click to enlarge). The poll will animate in real-time and I will then proceed with the most popular answer. At the close of the talk, I will again open another poll for questions that they now have as a result of this sermon (see next pic). And, just like that, there is complete interaction between the “Pastor” and the “congregant”.  How many times have I sat and said, I want to hear more about THIS or THAT. Well, these students will now have that option! I’ll let you know how it goes! Or you can watch our LIVE broadcast on May 19th at 7pm. Click here for our LIVE BROADCAST link.

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Simply TXT

Email is dead. Youth communicate primarily through text, so why are you still trying to communicate your announcements through email, snail mail, and (God forbid) fliers!

With mass text messaging you can communicate instantly to your entire youth group or congregation! Simply Youth Ministry has come up with a ministry focused program with a 30 day free trial and per month fees as low as $10.

How we have used it:
1) Youth group announcements
2) Sign-ups. Example: We need volunteers for VBS, text me back if you want more information.
3) On our church bulletin we have a tear off section: “Sign-up for Text Message Announcements”
4) On our Uturn website students can sign up to receive these announcements
5) Reminder announcements about events and weekly info about what’s going on at Uturn
6) Bible Verse reading for the day

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Vacation Bible School is rad. Every year we have hundreds of little kiddos who come, play, sing, and learn about Jesus. It’s our church’s biggest outreach of the year and we, like you, put a lot of time and effort into making VBS fun and memorable.  Here are all the admin forms and workflow we use. Start with the form tilted, “VBS Volunteer Meeting”. Every other form will make sense after reading it. Post your comments or thoughts on how you organize VBS.

CLICK HERE FOR FORMS
(All forms are doc, pdf, and apple pages formats)

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www.redlaser.com

Red Laser is an iPhone app that’s been out a while. It uses the built-in camera to accurately read barcodes on virtually any product and then give you a list of both online and local stores that sell the product at the lowest price.

Here’s the crazy thing. Retail stores are now accepting this for price matching! Including Best Buy. Here’s an example. I walked into Best Buy to purchase a video game for our youth group and it was selling for $52 off the shelf. I scanned it with Red Laser (a 99 cent app) and it showed that Amazon.com was selling it for $39. I took it to the front, showed the result at checkout, and received it for $39, no questions asked. As a youth pastor who buys a lot of stuff I’ve learned to always ask, you’ll save so much $$$. Just since the beginning of the year I’ve saved over $200 through price patching with Red Laser.  Watch this video to find out more.

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How many times have I sat around thinking, what should I speak to these people about? What do they need to hear? Even praying the prayer, God what do your people need right now (and that’s not a bad prayer), what are they struggling with?  One could argue, immerse yourself in the culture, read-read-read, and even ask them!

However, even when asking people straight out, you don’t always get the kind of deep, heartfelt answers you’d receive if you ask anonymously. So, survey them. We survey our students every year and ask various questions to help us improve our ministry. Here’s an example for you to fill out: Click here to take survey

We get some pretty varied feedback, but you must ask the hard questions!
Here’s the latest survey we had our students fill out: UTURN SURVEY
I had to face the fact that some kids thought my messages were horrible and  what I thought was a strength, our small groups, had a really big weakness…they never ended on time! This information would never have been openly shared in person, thank you Survey Monkey! Survey monkey is a free service, take advantage of it!

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